During my recent interview with Dean Rotbart on Monday Morning Radio, we focused a good deal of time on M. Grisafe Architect’s mantra: Advise, Advocate and Collaborate. We discussed how we advise our clients by walking them through the design and permitting process so they have the knowledge needed to collaborate with us in the design process to produce a design they love. However, I wish we had been able to spend more time during the interview talking about the idea of advocating for our Long Beach-area clients and what that means to us.
We’re all familiar with the dramatic example of a lawyer who advocates for a client by using a brilliant loophole in the law that saves the client from going to prison. Is there an equivalent in the architecture business? Do the laws and rules for construction allow for deviation? The answer to both questions is “yes,” though it doesn’t play out nearly as dramatically as it does in a television courtroom drama.
Here are some examples of the ways we, as architects, advocate for our Long Beach clients:
- We understand the codes and how to apply them to our designs. We know which ones have some wiggle room, and how codes in Long Beach differ from some of the neighboring cities. There can often be substantial differences in how different cities interpret building codes, and even how inspectors within the same city interpret them. Knowing these differences can result in large fee variations.
- We get our clients’ plans through the plan check process quickly because our plans are well executed and well received by city plan checkers.
- We maintain a good reputation for solid work, which also aids in getting plans approved in a timely manner. We’ve been known to have plans approved more quickly than clients who paid high fees for an expedited plan check, simply because of our reputation with the cities in which we work.
- When designing a home or building, we don’t just create more space—we create spaces that make your home or business more useful, and more marketable when you outgrow it. Everyone has experienced buildings with odd layouts that seem to have evolved out of a stack of bad decisions. We spend a good deal of time identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a building’s layout and work to accentuate the good and minimize or eliminate the bad.
- We regularly verify that all of the engineers and general contractors we work with are honest and a good value for our clients.
We want to do everything we can to make our clients’ experiences with us as smooth as possible. Most of our clients have little experience dealing with city planning departments, engineers, contractors, etc. and rely on us to be their advocate, which we are happy to do. We’ve spent many years cultivating relationships with city officials, building inspectors and other professionals that you’ll need to turn your design plans into reality, and we leverage those relationships for our clients so projects can be completed without undue stress or delays.
Is this the type of Long Beach architect you are looking for—one that can be your advocate? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you with your commercial or residential project.